Our Devotion today comes from Psalm 98: 4-9. This week’s gift to the advent season is JOY.  We will take a look at how JOY influences our Christmas season.  Can you imagine not thinking about joy this time of year, with the reminder of Christ’s first coming in this world, the thoughts of family and friends, the yummy food, the thoughts of presents unwrapped, and childhood memories of Christmas past?  Even with chronic illness, we can all reach into our memory banks and remember past joyous memoires of christmas pasts or something that happened last week to make you smile.  This is truly a time to be joyous.  Our precious Lord came into the world and he will return again one day.

Psalm 98

4 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music;
5 make music to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and the sound of singing,
6 with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—
shout for joy before the LORD, the King.

Every year I pull off my bookshelf a marvelous advent devotion by Ann Marie Steart called “Preparing my Heart for Advent”.  An  Marie writes about the song Joy to the World and it’s origin.  In her words, “We all love Christmas carols”.  She writes, “Joy to the world is not actually a Christmas song.  This song was originially titled “The Messiah’s Coming and Kingdom”.  The carol paraphrases Psalm 98:4-9, our devotion verses for today.  These verses call for all of creatioon to joyfully praise the reign of our Lord.  She writes, “Isaac Watts, the man who brought us the joy filled song, was frustrated by the dreary hymns of his day.  His father challeneged him to come up with a hymn that expresssed joy.  Ironically, there is little in this carol about Christmas.  The first verse, is often used in context of his first coming, but the majority oif the song declares Jesus’s second coming.”

If you look at the third phrase of the song, “Let every heart prepare Him room”,  is a great reminder to prepare room in our heart for Him.   ” On a day to day basis, we need to prepare our hearts to have room for Jesus and to be prepared to sing His praises”, writes Ann Marie. This is a song to sing year round.  Sing it today.  Sing it loud.  Just saying the words brings joy.

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!

Let earth receive Her King;

Let every herat prepare Him room,

and Heaven and nature sing.